Category Archives: Home Buyer Tips

Check Rental Restrictions When Buying a Condo

Make sure you’re aware of rental restrictions on that condo you’re thinking of buying—especially if your future plans involve being able to rent it out and keep the property for investment purposes.

Most condo buyers like to know that they’ll be able to rent out their unit if so desired. Circumstances could change and require you to move, but you’d like to keep that condo for the long term and rent it out for a while.

It’s important to be fully aware of potential rental restrictions in the Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs)—the main document that homeowners associations (HOAs) use that states how the HOA will be run. Continue Reading

What You Need To Know About Leased Parking

You start your home search with a parking space as part of your criteria. And then you see the perfect condo, but it has what’s defined as “leased parking.” What’s that all about?

The SF Realtor Association changed the data fields in the MLS a few years ago to include leased parking and its related details in a given listing. Previously, you either had some type of deeded parking, or not. Some agents indicated “1L” in the data field, which resulted in listings showing a parking space that technically wasn’t going to be sold with the unit. So the leased parking fields are a good thing, in my opinion.

When it comes to parking, either you have a space included or not. There are variations on parking that comes with a unit, such as deeded, assigned, tandem or independent style. Continue Reading

Why There Aren’t More Condo “Deals” In San Francisco

Many prospective home buyers and real estate market watchers have been waiting for San Francisco prices to plunge ever since our shelter-in-place went into effect on March 17th. After all, people are reportedly leaving the city in droves, and there’s such a lack of interest in urban dwellings that homeowners will take any price just to get out from under a property that’s steadily falling in value—right?

Wrong. Volume may be down in 2020, but prices certainly aren’t plunging. The single-family home remains the holy grail, very much in demand. And condos are holding steady, especially units in smaller buildings with outdoor space. Continue Reading

Large SF Condo Inventory Available for First-Time Home Buyers

Corona has ushered in a period of real estate movement in San Francisco. It seems like everyone is making big decisions about where they’re living—and where they might want to live in the future. Working from home is the new normal, as is spending more time at home.

Many city condo owners are deciding to stay in San Francisco and trading up to a large single-family home. I’m seeing this firsthand while showing my new listing at 517 8th Avenue in the Inner Richmond. Almost all of the prospective buyers own condos and are on the hunt for a house with three or four bedrooms, office space and a yard. Continue Reading

Here’s Where You Can Negotiate the Best Price on a 2BR Condo

Looking to get a good price on a two-bedroom San Francisco condo? Check out a few of the 360 two-bedroom units currently on the market in San Francisco in buildings with ten or more units. These properties have been on the market for an average of 56 days, and I’m betting their owners would love to get offers from qualified buyers.

It helps to know where to look for the best deals. The neighborhoods where these condo buildings are located are Diamond Heights, Mission Dolores, Hayes Valley, Pacific Heights, Downtown/Financial District, Nob Hill, Van Ness/Civic Center, Mission, Mission Bay, SoMa/Yerba Buena, South Beach and Dogpatch/Central Waterfront. Continue Reading

The Difference Between a TIC and a Condo

It’s not always obvious whether a property is a condo or tenancy-in-common (TIC) when you’re a buyer who’s searching online for properties. You have to click in to all the details before you realize that the photos of the wonderful “flat” that seems listed kind of low is actually a TIC.

But what’s the difference between a TIC and a condo? All things being equal, couldn’t you just buy a TIC if it has the space and location you want? Continue Reading

Price Reductions Hitting Large SF Buildings

Condos in larger buildings are seeing their fair share of price reductions during corona, based on sales that have closed from July 1 to August 15th.

Twenty percent of the 306 condos sold in that timeframe saw a price chop prior to closing, in various locations throughout San Francisco. But a majority of the reductions were concentrated in the Mission Bay, SoMa and South Beach areas.

Condos in smaller buildings with yards and parking that also have convenient neighborhood locations appear to be holding their values better. Buyers aren’t as quick to write offers on units in hotel-like properties where they have to share elevators and common areas with large numbers of residents. Continue Reading

How to Evaluate a Condo and HOA

The condo market offers excellent opportunities right now for savvy buyers, because there seems to be more inventory than interested purchasers. This is particularly true for condos located in larger buildings and high rises—not so much for units in smaller buildings with access to outdoor space. Those are still popular and go into contract more quickly.

It’s important to consider the complexity of owning this type of property, before you rush out to look at different possibilities.

Here’s a quick primer that will help you evaluate the fundamentals of a condo and its homeowners association (HOA). Continue Reading

SF Single-Family Homes Not Immune To Price Reductions

Houses in San Francisco are always in demand among buyers. And this property type has stood its ground during our current recession—in fact, the average price of a house from June 1 – August 15th has increased by 6.7% to $2,141,356 in comparison to the same time in 2019.

But single-family home sellers are no strangers to the dreaded price reduction decision. Some homes come on the market with high prices in comparison to their comparable sales; it’s no secret that there’s a tendency for homeowners to believe their house is superior for one reason or another.

I took a look at all the houses that sold from June 1 through August 15th and discovered that 17% sold after having at least one price reduction. Continue Reading

My Picks for Price-Reduced Properties

I’m seeing a lot more price reductions happening on a regular basis lately, especially in the $2M+ price ranges for condos. Sellers and their agents are trying to find their accurate home values and the corona market is a work in progress.

I always recommend seeing a property as soon as you can if there’s a big price reduction. A large list price cut tends to attract eyeballs, particularly belonging to folks who had already been through on a showing. Continue Reading

What The Heck is HO-6 Condo Insurance?

You might have HOA insurance coverage when buying a condo, but you have to purchase your own “walls-in” coverage during escrow.

Lenders require what’s known as HO-6 insurance. Otherwise known as hazard or individual unit coverage, HO-6 insurance provides personal property and liability coverage for whatever happens within your unit’s walls. Continue Reading

Lenders Ratchet Up Requirements During Corona

Lenders are tightening their loan requirements in light of the corona chaos. Prospective home buyers are flocking to lenders in pursuit of those low interest rates, but lenders are not making it easy to qualify for loans, especially in higher-cost regions like The Bay Area.

It’s not difficult to understand lenders’ concerns amidst job losses and general economic instability. However, if you were preapproved for a loan in pre-corona times, it’s likely your lender has slapped some new requirements on that approval. Continue Reading

5 Tips for A Smooth Home Sale

Corona has slowed the real estate market down, but things can still move quickly when it comes to making an offer on a home. That’s why it’s critical that you and your agent review all the property details before you sign that contract.

The key to making a confident and successful home purchase lies in being prepared and knowledgeable. Here are five tips for being successful in the residential real estate game: Continue Reading

Prop 19: Transfer Tax Change on November Ballot

Up for a vote this November 3rd: Prop 19, which includes proposed changes to the property tax base transfer rules.

This ballot measure would let homeowners who are 55 or older transfer their property tax base to anywhere in California, for a more expensive home if need be. Eligible homeowners would also be able to make this transfer up to three times. Continue Reading

Corona Protocols Critical to SF Real Estate

We seem to be in another corona surge period, with San Francisco treading water when it comes to hospitalizations and rising infection rates. That’s why it’s extremely important for agents and clients to continue following correct property showing protocols when it comes to real estate business.

Listing agents, please make sure you have hand sanitizer and shoe covers in the property if you are allowing showings. It is not particularly encouraging when I bring clients to a property via lockbox, and find a sign requesting that we take our shoes off when there are no shoe covers in sight. And no hand sanitizer. Sticking a lockbox on the house and assuring me that I am scheduled for the showing isn’t convincing me that you’re handling things the proper way. Yes, I bring hand sanitizer with me, but please do your part to assure everyone’s safety.

And please resist the urge to put an A frame outside the property during an appointment timeframe. My clients and I arrive at a home and the anxiety level goes up if we think there’s a possibility random people off the street may be inside. If you have to market yourself, the house sign will be sufficient. Continue Reading

Get in touch:

Eileen Bermingham

Corcoran Global Living

415.823.4656

eileen@insidesfre.com

DRE# 01352627

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